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Jun 12, 2024

Who truly deserves to be Chanel’s next creative director?

The dream role for every designer is open. Meet the fashion superstars and rising talents rumoured to succeed Virginie Viard at Chanel


In a surprising turn of events, the fashion world came to a standstill with the news that Virginie Viard is stepping down as Chanel’s Artistic Director of Fashion Collections, including haute couture, ready-to-wear and accessories. Viard, who took the helm in 2019, has driven the brand to unprecedented heights, catapulting sales from $11.1 billion in 2018 to an astonishing $19.7 billion in 2023. That’s a whopping 2.2x increase, with the ready-to-wear segment alone soaring by 23% last year.

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Un post condiviso da CHANEL (@chanelofficial)

Virginie Viard’s five-year reign wasn’t just about the numbers. She infused Chanel with a fresh, youthful energy and a commitment to diversity on the runway. Vogue’s Hamish Bowles praised her debut solo collection for capturing “the insouciance that Chanel herself believed in,” even if it meant scaling back the grandiosity of Karl Lagerfeld’s legendary showcases.

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Un post condiviso da Vogue Business (@voguebusiness)

The fashion community is abuzz with speculation over who will succeed Virginie Viard in this highly coveted role. Names like Sarah Burton (from Alexander McQueen), Pierpaolo Piccioli (from Valentino), Riccardo Tisci (from Givenchy and Burberry), and Marc Jacobs are circulating, all seasoned veterans of top-tier brands but currently free agents.

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Un post condiviso da Pierpaolo Piccioli (@pppiccioli)

Others like Nicolas Ghesquière (from Louis Vuitton’s womenswear) and Simon Porte Jacquemus (always one of Kaiser Karl’s protégés) are also in the mix. However, the first one recently renewed its contract with Louis Vuitton, and the second one has its own flourishing label.

Could a young, dynamic force like Jonathan Anderson (from Loewe and his brand, JW Anderson) step in? At 39, he represents a new generation that could bring fresh perspectives to the iconic house.

John Galliano, too, has resurfaced as a strong contender. His Maison Margiela Artisanal collection in January was a show-stopping masterpiece that left a lasting impression on the fashion world. Its impact was so profound that it sparked conversations in the most unlikely places, even among New York City taxi drivers—a testament to Galliano’s pop culture influence.

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Un post condiviso da Maison Margiela (@maisonmargiela)

Hedi Slimane, the current creative director of Celine, is also in the running. Recently, there were rumours that he was leaving the LVMH-owned fashion house. He has always been one of Karl Lagerfeld’s most loyal friends, and many consider him a possible successor to the German designer star. In the past, Karl Lagerfeld had admired Slimane’s Dior Homme collections and even got back in shape to fit into his super skinny suits. 

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Un post condiviso da STYLE NOT COM 🧢 (@stylenotcom)

And saving the best for last, Jeremy Scott—yes, the trailblazing genius from Moschino—might just be stepping into the legendary role of Chanel's creative director. This American maverick was a close confidant of the late, great Karl Lagerfeld, who publicly endorsed Scott as a worthy successor. While Scott's signature pop and ironic style is well-known, there's little doubt he could masterfully adapt to Chanel's iconic elegance. Just recall his debut at Moschino, where he quickly transformed his bold vision to fit the brand's storied heritage. If history repeats itself, Scott might be the perfect blend of audacity and tradition for Chanel.

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Un post condiviso da Jeremy Scott (@jeremyscott)

As Chanel navigates this transitional phase, all eyes will be on who steps up to steer this legendary brand into its next chapter. One thing is certain: the stakes have never been higher, and the fashion world is eagerly anticipating the next move in this high-stakes game.



Angelo Ruggeri
Journalist, Master’s Programme Tutor & Fashion Styling Course Leader, Milan